The trip began when the team met in the back parking lot of Savage Arena. The six of us helped unload Coach's car and started to pack up Rocket Reba. Once everything was all packed up, it was time to head out to our destination at Illinois State for the Redbird Invitational. Of course our van rides are always filled with laughter, singing and, most importantly, homework. It was a nice six-hour van ride to Bloomington-Normal, Illinois. Later that evening, we finally arrived in Illinois and checked into our hotel. It had been a long day for the Rockets so we decided to head to bed to get some rest for our practice round the next day. Luckily on the day of our practice round it was my 20th birthday. I woke up to multiple birthday texts, and cards from my family, friends and my team. Even though it was my birthday, the rain kept coming and we had to delay our practice round 45 minutes later than the original time. We left our hotel around 11:00 a.m. to head to the golf course and eat our Panera lunch that was provided by the Redbird Invitational. After eating our delicious lunch, it was warm-up time for the Rockets. As 12:45 came rolling by it was time for our practice round to start. But unfortunately, we only were able to play seven holes due to another storm.
So we piled up into Rocket Reba and went to dinner at a nearby restaurant called Logan's Roadhouse. Since it was my birthday Coach made it well aware to the waitress it was my special day. We continued to eat our dinner and when we were all done the waitress came by with another waitress who asked me to stand up on a tall chair as the whole restaurant watched and joined in while singing happy birthday. I turned about four different shades of red, because I was so embarrassed. After all of the embarrassment was finished Coach decided to treat us to dessert and of course, we can never say no to dessert. After dinner we walked outside and saw the rain had stopped, so we headed back out to the golf course. We hurried up and packed up all our stuff for the third time that day and went back to the course. As soon as we got to the course Coach said "we only have one hour to play 13 holes". Well as we all looked at each other, we suddenly started rushing to put on our golf shoes, and jackets on, and then headed to the first tee. We literally played speed golf. We were able to have carts to help us make this possible. My cart buddy was junior Kate Hoops. We were basically playing alternate shot. Kate would tee off then I would hit the approach shot onto the green and then we rotate turns. It was so much fun and we could not stop laughing especially when Becky Martin almost fell out because of senior Alli Schultz's crazy driving. This was definitely not our typical practice round but we made the impossible into possible, by getting 13 holes in with six people, in one hour. We learned a valuable lesson though, that when we go up to a shot, and without thinking about anything, it is easier to make a good shot. After all this excitement and fun it was putting time. It was already getting very dark around 7:00 p.m. but that did not stop us Rockets from making 960 putts, even when it was pitch black. 'This is how we win tournaments." Coach Hollingsworth said to us. After a great practice session, we headed back to the hotel because it was time to get some sleep and get ready for our first 36-hole day of the fall season.
The 5:15 a.m. alarm came real quick the next morning but we were ready! When it came to the van ride, we were doing what we normally do, by belting out music and getting excited for what was in store for us. We had a great warm-up session and now it was game time. The Rockets were on top throughout the day and at the end of the day we were in first by three strokes against our I-75 rivals, BGSU. Alli Schultz, our super senior shot 75-75, Kate Hoops 74-79, Becky Martin 77-76, Freshmen Manisa Isavas 85-77, and Sathika Ruenreong 77-81, and myself 74-77. It was a great day to be a Rocket. We were pretty excited and confident that we were going to win this tournament. We headed back to the hotel room got some study table hours in and then finally it was time for bed for these tired Rockets. Especially since it was Manisa and Sathika's first 36-hole tournament ever.
Finally Sunday morning of the final round has arrived. You could feel the intensity between the rivals but excitement at the same time. It was a beautiful sunny day and a great day for the Rockets to win. As the day went on everyone was playing well and we slowly but surely took the lead from Bowling Green. When all the results were in, the Toledo Rockets were the champions and also our senior Alli Schultz was runner-up overall. It was a great day for our team. It was an awesome first tournament and a great way to start our season off. Now we are ready to take on Michigan State next weekend! I would like to make a huge shoutout to the Schultz's, Hoops, and the Hollingsworth's who showed up to cheer the Rockets onto victory. Also another huge thank you to Mrs. Hollingsworth for the wonderful cookies she made us, they were gone by the end of the van ride. I hope we will see you all next weekend! Go Rockets!